Division-by-Division REACTIONS to new CIF football playoff groupings


Division 1: Bishop Amat is here, but can the Lancers stay? Remember, now programs have to earn their keep. This is Amat’s worst nightmare given that so many Lancers alums think playing in D-1 is their God given right thanks to past success. But now you gotta earn your keep. Lulls like what took place BEFORE the Class of 2016 put the the program back on the map with back-to-back semis appearances will result in a drop to D-2 (where I think Amat belongs anyway). Just ask Crespi, which got booted out. Mission Viejo joins the fray, but head coach Bob Johnson is on record as saying his team won’t play against private schools in the playoffs. 18 teams for 16 spots sounds dicey but it’s really not.

Division 2: This is the D-1 rejects pool. Nice try Notre Dame, Norco, Crespi, Oaks Christian, but you weren’t D-1 material. Now, you’re here. And this is one helluva division. La Habra, though? How do the Highlanders go D-1 instead of La Mirada?

Division 3:
La Mirada, St. Francis and La Serna (all teams that were in the Southeast Division) last season land here. Throw in Hart and Los Alamitos. This another really sexy division.

Division 4: Charter Oak headlines the local flavor. The Chargers are in rebuild mode to an extent, but they always give a good account. Sierra Canyon, which appears earmarked for D-1 within the next 5 years, lands here. Lompoc is a pretty awesome name to have in the group, but I pity the team that has to play up there.

Division 5: No locals in here. Nothing really stands out. 22 teams. Have fun.

Division 6:
San Marino’s Central Division title landed the Titans a very tall assignment here. Is San Marino about to go back to being a very good Mid-Valley Division team, or is it a program on this much of a rise? An amazing class of senior is gone, so this looks a bit tough for the Titans. This is also where Los Altos, West Covina and Bonita land. Los Altos is supposed to have its dream season this fall, but this division looks stacked.

Division 7: Monrovia NOT in the same division as San Marino? And in a lower one, no less? WOW! The ‘Cats are here. So is D-Ranch and South Hills. The Huskies are hoping to start their Bechtel-led ascent right now, so this looks like a good place to do it. St. Paul HAS TO BE thinking this is a very doable assignment.

Division 8: San Dimas not being in the same division as Monrovia will rub some local fans wrong. It is hard to understand why the Saints aren’t a division higher. But hey, that doesn’t mean they win this thing either. The Greg Gano Era at Don Lugo starts in D-8. Interesting. And finally there’s Northview. This is supposed to be the Vikes’ dream season. And while the regular season should be spectacular, Northview looks to be in for a fight from the word “go” once the postseason begins. This division is very tricky.

Division 9: LOTSA PASADENA FLAVA FOR YA EAR! Muir, La Salle and Maranatha … BOOM! And some Whittier area love in El Rancho and Cal. But, none of those locals will be considered among the favorites … at least not right away. This is another very well-configured division. Esperanza is looking to make another climb to D-1 status and this is a great place to start. That’s your favorite!

Division 10: The locals in here — Whittier, South Pas and Santa Fe, don’t really stack up to the top level teams like Rubidoux and Tahquitz. And will any of those even make the playoffs? It’s probably best to concentrate on that part first.

Division 11: Some nice local programs are in here. Proven winners, i.e. Covina, Rosemead, Montebello. Plus, up and coming Arcadia. And yet teams like Culver City or Bellflower or a former big dog like Eisenhower are the ones to sweat. Very interesting. Oh yeah, Pasadena, which is trying to build on beating Muir last year, is also here.

Division 12: Solid local programs in this group include Arroyo, Schurr and Whittier Chr., La Canada. Arroyo looks like a lock to make the field of 16 as it is the overwhelming favorite in the Mission Valley League this year. Schurr is a guessing game. La Canada is the same. Remember, you gotta qualify. Once in, I’m not sure any of the locals can hang around too long.

Division 13: This is where Temple City, Rowland and Nogales will go to try and recapture the glory days. Cantwell is also here. So is La Puente and El Monte. Heck, there’s a boat load of locals in this 84-school grouping. What’s key for teams like these is actually just making the playoffs and not sweating who is in the division.

  • Spam Burger

    Sierra Canyon D-4, Paraclete D- 6? Will spend more time going through the division layout later on, but was really interested in seeing where those 2 ended up. Also, what will happen if Mission Viejo doesn’t play and takes forfeits? Post season bans? CIF pulling there sports charter across the board, if there is such a thing.

  • Valley Athletics

    Looking at the formula . You get more power points for playing top teams and losing than lower division teams and winning . Being in tough league also gets you points . If your a team that wants to get out of your division just schedule weak teams to get less points . For Amat 3 trinity league teams on pre season schedule will get them lots of points even if they lose . One of the reasons charter oak is higher is there preseason schedule last 2 years . San marinos schedule was weaker even though they won cif and did ok in 2014 . Tough preseason would of jumped them up a division .

  • vegemighty

    Do you have a link for the full list of teams in each division?

    • AramT

      I posted a link at the top of the post.

      • vegemighty

        DOH! Thanks.

  • Valley Athletics

    Now they have to fix some local leagues . No way a team like walnut from division 12 should be in same league when everyone is in division 4-6 . Or Diamond Bar from division 9 . Teams have to be put in leagues where they at least have a chance making playoffs.

    • AramT

      This is the backbone of why CIF did this. That’s my opinion at least. Relying on the areas to league themselves properly is pointless. The Rio Hondo League a few years ago needed to get Monrovia out and couldn’t get it done. So they just decided to leave things status quo. Then CIF came in behind them and pulled the entire league up to the Central. Stunningly, it didn’t matter in San Marino’s case. They won it all. But there’s just no way South Pas or La Canada should be up that high.

      Relying on the leagues and areas to get themselves right is hopeless. So just let CIF put them all in different divisions.

      • Valley Athletics

        I agree in the division’s the teams are placed in . But It doesn’t matter what division those bottom dwellers who can’t win any league games are put in . They have no chance on making the playoffs .

        • AramT

          Can you please tell Fred that next time he’s whining about Walnut going further in the playoffs than Charter Oak?

  • Aaron

    Like I said previously: Wigod and Martinez need to find another job. This had a chance of being decent provided they killed the league structure and went to the district structure which would be a yearly change like the classification change. The fact that everyone will go to the playoffs in Division 1 is a joke. I understand the CIFSS has as many schools as some states, but they need to compress to 7 classifications. This makes Division 1 a cracker jack ring and Division 13 a real ring…sort of strange to me.

    I suppose I see your point Aram, but to me this is a joke. It’s not like CIF doesn’t force re-leaguing from time to time…how do you think Bonita gets screwed all the time.

  • LS All Day

    You really cant say enough about how far this La Serna Lancers team really has come since 2010. Check out this stat Aram, 2009 La Serna went 3-7 and since then they haven’t looked back:
    -2010 11-2 Semifinals
    -2011 10-4 CIF Runner Up
    -2012 12-2 CIF Runner Up
    -2013 12-2 CIF CHAMPS
    -2014 10-3 Semifinals
    -2015 11-3 CIF Runner Up
    SIX years in a row to at least the Semifinals, and four trips to the finals in what was a very competitive Southeast Division. La Serna also made it a trend of theirs to play teams from higher divisions and didn’t just show up just to show up they WON if not play competitively in close losses. Safe to say that they definitely earned this bump up to Division 3, but it goes without saying they will be greatly tested. La Serna loses a pretty strong class of seniors, but they also return a whole lot of talent on both sides of the ball in what seems to be another very strong senior class. Some of these seniors got a CIF ring as freshmen with me in my own senior campaign, but knowing most of them personally, I know all these kids will be very very hungry to earn their own this year. Very excited to see what my alma mater does in their new Division 3 ranking.

    • AramT

      Nothing but respect for that program. They’ve done it with different QBs and classes. They just do what they do and stick to it and do it well. I actually heard the incoming frosh class is loaded, but the divisions can change annually. Hopefully, the program hangs in D-3 until that group gets to varsity.

  • vegemighty

    My biggest problem with this is that if, say, Crespi should get hot and win their league, then you’ve got the Mission League champ being gifted a soft(er) path to a CIF championship due to the fact that their previous iterations weren’t that good. That’s hardly fair to whoever else is in D2.

    Or let’s say Crespi finishes third. D2 currently has 13 teams that finished 1st or 2nd in their respective leagues last year. It’s entirely possible that the third place team in one of the tougher leagues in the country could miss the D2 playoffs, while teams below them could qualify for the D1 playoffs.

    With only 18 teams in D1, it is quite likely that someone will make playoffs despite having a lousy season. If every team were to finish in their league where they did last year, Servite would probably qualify with a 5th place finish (or a 6th place team like Alemany or Santa Margarita, should Mission Viejo decline to participate).

    In some divisions (8, 12, and 13 in particular) a team could easily finish third in a decent league and miss playoffs.

    This is probably going to result in a more interesting first round in a few higher divisions, but it’s going to make for a lot of messy situations. On balance, I’m not sure it’s an improvement.

    It’s also going to generate a lot more travel. That’s not a bad thing – I think it’s great for teams to get out of their area – but it would be good if CIF mandated Saturday games for teams more than a certain distance apart (if they don’t already do so). Traveling between, say, Lake Elsinore and Oxnard for a 7PM game means missed classes for the players, and either missed work or no game for the parents.

    I was (too) curious about this, and I figured out how many teams in each division finished first, second, third, etc. last year:

    1) 18 – 5 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 1 – 2
    2) 18 – 9 – 4 – 2 – 1 – 1 – 0 – 1
    3) 19 – 8 – 4 – 6 – 1
    4) 19 – 9 – 3 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 1
    5) 22 – 3 – 6 – 5 – 2 – 4 – 2
    6) 22 – 7 – 5 – 4 – 4 – 2
    7) 23 – 4 – 5 – 3 – 6 – 3 – 2
    8) 25 – 7 – 9 – 5 – 2 – 1 – 1
    9) 29 – 2 – 6 – 5 – 5 – 4 – 7
    10)37 – 3 – 6 – 9 – 8 – 8 – 4
    11)38 – 5 – 6 – 6 – 8 – 8 – 3 – 1 – 1
    12)46 – 7 – 8 – 6- 12-4 – 8 – 1
    13)84 – 2 – 5 -15-13-20-17-6 – 2 (plus 4 other teams)

  • SGV Football Historian

    What a joke….Bob Johnson! Will he stop playing teams that play with local grown talent then? MV has benefitted greatly from transfers for years and has taken great talent from all over the OC. I agree with the Public/Private argument on principal. However, MV is a private football school parading about as a public football school. Hypocrite!

  • D-RUN

    Aram is a huge LM homer!! Should step down with this being his line of work. YES, La Habra over LM IN d-2, LM lost to San Clemente, and La Habra beat SC. When it comes to LH AND LM, LH owns it!! Dont get me wrong , LM had a great year winning state, but when it comes to head to head games, LH got the nod.
    I think LM will have their hands full with Edison and Los AL, ETC.. anyway.

  • D-RUN

    LS ALL DAY, still behind La Habra in the area.
    7 CIF TITLES and been to 8. Even La Mirada has 2 CIF tites AND A STATE TITLE. But, thats still real good, nothing wrong with 3rd place.